Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, and began her early musical training as a pianist in Boston with Antoine Louis Moeldner who studied with two of Leschetitzky’s most illustrious pupils, Helen Hopekirk and Paderewski. Her early love for music was sparked by her talented violinist mother.
Dianne continued her studies at Juilliard as a piano major and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria studying chamber music with Enrico Mainardi. In later years, she studied piano privately with David Saperton in New York and Lily Dumont, Russell Sherman, and Veronica Jochum in Boston.
When Dianne returned to Boston after her studies at Juilliard, she was very eager to resume teaching in Boston as she had left many of her students in New York City and truly loved teaching. She heard about NEPTA and joined immediately. That was around 1961 and the meetings were held at the College Club on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. Each meeting was followed downstairs in the catered dining room which gave members an opportunity to chat with each other and meet intimately with that month’s chosen speaker. Dianne “learned so much from all the wonderful meetings that we had getting to know so many experienced teachers.”
Dianne was involved as Program Chair for many years as well as serving on the Board of Directors. She feels so fortunate to have known so many wonderful pianists and teachers over all these years and privileged to be part of this great organization.
At the age of 40, Dianne began concentrating more seriously on composing and has since produced a large body of works for piano solo, orchestra, instrumental ensembles, percussion, and voice. Her music has been performed throughout the world. As a first generation Armenian-American whose father was a survivor of the genocide, her music reflects a deep-rooted ethnic background. The strong influences of her first spoken language, Armenian, and the folk music she grew up with, are important elements in her musical language.
Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee teaches piano privately at her home in Belmont, Massachusetts and gives workshops, lectures and master classes internationally. She also finds expression in visual art, creating neo-baroque abstract improvisations called “Doodles” which relate very much to her personal musical language.